How to Harvest Rain Water

When a drought strikes you will thank yourself for having a store of rain water harvested.


| Summer 2012


Q: What can I do to help improve my results during a dry season? We deal with drought occasionally and still want to grow a great garden. — Mandy in California 

A: There’s nothing more worrisome in the garden than long stretches without rain. The first tip is to collect as much rainwater with rain barrels attached to gutters. One decent rain can provide hundreds of gallons of water for the garden. There are lots of plans online showing how to build your own, or purchase one ready-made from a garden supplier. If making your own, be sure to use only food-grade barrels — never anything that once contained chemicals.

When placing plants in the garden or landscape leave a slight depression at the base of the plant to hold rainwater. This is easy to do in the vegetable garden and I also like to sink a 4- to 6-inch pot into the soil and when I water, the pot is filled up, slowly dispersing the water.

Mulch, mulch and more mulch will help keep the soil evenly moist and also has the benefit of reducing fungal diseases. 



Improve the soil with lots of compost. Good garden soil is well drained, but also able to retain moisture. Choose plants that are drought-tolerant like succulents and other tough perennials. 

There’s a group of gardeners experimenting with dry farming: the 19th century practice of growing crops with only what nature provides for water. There’s lots of information online about techniques and successful varieties to grow. 








mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: June 2-3, 2018
Frederick, MD

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!

LEARN MORE








Subscribe today

Heirloom GardenerCultivate your love of historic plant varieties and traditional recipes with a subscription to Heirloom Gardener magazine today!

Don’t miss a single issue of Heirloom Gardener. Published by the editors of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Heirloom Gardener provides decades of organic gardening experience from the most trusted voices in the field. Subscribe today and save as much as 38% off the newsstand price! Get one year (4 issues) for only $24.95!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265